“I have found that the OpenSprinkler firmware much more difficult to work with” — this is understandable, because the unified firmware is written in C++, which is less flexible than a script language like Python. I know that people are more comfortable working with Python than C++. However, we don’t have the resources or time to manage two different programs, and the unified firmware allows us to make the firmware compatible across all OpenSprinkler platforms, so that features will be made available to them simultaneously.
That being said — I don’t think the Unified Firmware is that difficult to work with. Most function names are defined to be easy to understand, and I’ve put comments throughout the program.
“The beauty of Dan’s system to me was the ease of network configuration and running automatically at boot. These things have been so much more difficult with OpenSprinkler.” — I don’t think these have anything to do with the program itself — network configuration is part of the RPi setup procedure, and setting a program to auto-start on boot can be done for any program. My forum post include specific instructions on how to set OpenSprinkler firmware to start on boot. Let me know if anything there is unclear.